Phoenix Sports 1-1 Glebe - We got away with it tonight, admits Phoenix Sports boss Steve O'Boyle

Tuesday 19th September 2017
Phoenix Sports 1 – 1 Glebe
Location Mayplace Ground, Mayplace Road East, Barnehurst, Kent DA7 6JT
Kickoff 19/09/2017 19:45

(after extra time – Phoenix Sports win 5-4 on penalties)
The Emirates FA Cup Second Qualifying Round Replay
Tuesday 19th September 2017
Stephen McCartney reports from Mayplace Road East

PHOENIX SPORTS manager Steve O’Boyle says he was furious with his players’ for their poor performance and felt they did not deserve to go through to The FA Cup Third Qualifying Round after winning a penalty shoot-out.

Phoenix Sports were 2-0 up in Saturday’s first game at Foxbury Avenue, courtesy of Jack Hopkins and Frankie Sawyer (penalty), but threw it away as Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division side Glebe earnt a second bite of the cherry through Luke Miller and Adrian Stone.

Glebe shaded a poor first half in Barnehurst tonight but Phoenix Sports grabbed the lead against the run of play, through winger Onoriode Ogboe’s 30-yard screamer, on the stroke of half-time.

Glebe were gifted an equaliser early in the second half when Miller accepted a poor back-pass and found the same corner of the net and the Chislehurst based side missed further chances and hit the crossbar late on in the game and had to settle for a penalty shoot-out in the end.

Eight of the ten penalties were converted so the game went to sudden-death. Richard Seixas scored the home side’s fifth but former Phoenix Sports midfielder Jason Goodchild crashed his effort against the bar to ensure Glebe’s debut six-match run in The FA Cup came to a heartbreaking conclusion as Phoenix Sports will travel to Bostik Premier side Enfield Town in the next round on 30 October after the north Londoners thrashed Hanwell Town 5-0 at home.

O’Boyle made his feelings well known despite their progress into the penultimate qualifying round.

“Poor!  That is it, poor!  Poor!   Phoenix were poor tonight, we were poor Saturday and we got away with it!

“I don’t really want to say too much but they were the better side in the first half.  Yes, the only positive thing for me tonight is getting through. We were poor Saturday, poor tonight. I don’t tolerate it far too much longer.”

When asked what he said to his troops before tonight’s game, O’Boyle replied: “Put Saturday right!  2-0 up, dead and buried. We were hanging on at the end, need to improve on Saturday, I don’t think we did.”

Glebe boss Ben Young was naturally disappointed after his side were knocked out in a cruel fashion.

“I thought over the two legs we probably deserved to pinch it in the end but that’s football and if you don’t take your chances, you’re not going to get into the hat,” said Young.

“I’ve got to look at my players, they were absolutely phenomenal throughout the two games.  To go down and bring it back, unbelievable! 

“Yes, they did give their all, that’s all I ask. As a manager, wherever I go and wherever I’ve been, I just ask for 110% commitment and work-rate and the rest will show through on itself and as you’ve seen tonight, it did.

“I think we had the confidence from Saturday being 2-0 down to bring it back.  I said we’ve got nothing to lose, show no fear, go out there and work your socks off and see if we can get through.

“We’ve gone behind to an absolute roaster of a goal and that kind of put us back a little bit – but I thought we were really good.”

Phoenix Sports went into this replay in tenth-place in the Bostik South with 11 points on the board from their six league games, while Glebe have slumped into the bottom three having bagged four points from five league games as their FA Cup run took centre stage.

Glebe should have taken the lead inside the opening four minutes.

Left-back Steve Springett floated over a cross, which was flicked on by striker Adrian Stone and this played in Miller, but his low right-footed angled drive from 12-yards was comfortably gobbled up at the near post by Steve Phillips.

Young said: “Luke Miller has come in for a month’s loan from Greenwich Borough and he’s looking sharper and sharper up front each game.  Stoney, again, a good flick-on.  We’ve told him to anticipate and unfortunately, we didn’t get it in to the back of the net but great anticipation for him.”

O’Boyle said: “We can talk about the game all night long!  I’m not really interested in the game to be honest with you. I’m not really happy with what happened tonight.  You can talk about chances, whatever you want to talk about but we got away with it tonight and that’s all there is to say really.”

The first half was poor and Joe Minter (who was forced off with cramp later on in the game) put over a free-kick from the left wing, Springett’s driven shot was blocked and the ball came back out to Minter, who drove his dipping shot just over the crossbar from 25-yards after 16 minutes.

Phoenix’s crossing was poor, Ogboe bore the brunt of O’Boyle as he showed no desire to get in behind into the penalty area after right-winger Kweku Ansah whipped in a couple of crosses towards where he should have been at the far post.

Glebe should have been 2-0 up in the 35th minute when Harry Harding (who was soon to take a whack to his ankle) played in pacy winger Fred Obasa, who shrugged off his marker and saw his dink turned around the post by the advancing Phillips.

Young said: “Nice little bit. We told Haring to pick the second ball up and that was key for us and he did. He slid Freddie through.  We know he’s got the pace, maybe he could’ve gone down.  I think the player’s clipped him and maybe it could’ve been a whole different game but Fred’s stayed true, he’s stayed up and tried to score himself but unfortunately the keeper’s made a good save.”

It was therefore a shock when Phoenix Sports grabbed the lead – totally against the run of play – thanks to Ogboe’s screamer, timed at 44 minutes and 55 seconds on the clock.

The winger cut inside and unleashed a beautiful right-footed drive from 30-yards, which screamed over Dean Nash’s left shoulder and rocketed into the top-right hand corner.

O’Boyle said: “Good goal, good goal.  Saves them a little bit of a b********g at half-time, didn’t really go on from there so.”

“That’s their quality, we literally switched off for a split second,” admitted Young.

“He’s cut inside, had space and hit a lovely shot and there’s not a lot you can do about it. That’s why he’s playing high because they’ve got that quality to do that.  I’m not saying we can’t bit that kind of experience, a great strike.”

Both manager’s were asked their thoughts at the break.

O’Boyle said: “We need to get the ball out wide, need to press the ball better and need start working their goalkeeper and go for the kill basically.”

Young said: “To forget about it!  We’ve been the better side. We came back on Saturday, we have got to believe in that and that’s what we said.  We had a good chat where we wanted to use certain areas where we wanted to play and that’s what we’ve done.”

Phoenix Sports raised their desire levels at the start of the second half and they were to be denied a flattering second in the 52nd minute.

Left-back Ashley Probets swept a long ball forward and this put otherwise quiet striker Jack Barham through on goal.  Barham (seven goals) and Frankie Sawyer (four) endured a frustrating night in the final third and Barham’s left-footed shot was held by Nash, low to his left, with only the former Sutton Athletic stopper to beat.

O’Boyle said: “Should’ve scored!  He hasn’t had a good game tonight, should’ve scored!

Young said: “Dean Nash has been superb this season. I’ve brought him in with me and he’s just built with every game, he’s got better and better and I feel confident when he has his one-on-ones.  He’s very commanding and tonight he proved it again with a great save.”

Phoenix Sports shot themselves in the foot by gifting Glebe the leveller with 10 minutes and 47 seconds on the clock.

Miller cut in from the right win and saw his shot sail over the crossbar.  The resulting goal-kick saw goalkeeper Phillips play a short goal-kick to left-centre half Tony Robinson, who looked on in horror as his attempted back-pass was intercepted by Miller, who drove his shot into the top right-hand corner.

“It was deserved. We said if we press them, they try to play out.  The pitch was quite long so we said press them and there might be a mistake.  They listened for once and it paid off and it was a great little bit of movement from Luke and a tasty finish and it was well deserved.

“I had belief that we could go on anyway.  We worked hard tirelessly hard, everyone done the right things.  They worked the shape and done what we needed to do and I thought we’d go on and win it, hopefully.”

O’Boyle said: “I think it’s got to be one of the worst goals you’ll ever give away! ! I don’t understand why we done it?  We haven’t got a clue who is going to pass it back to you. Who’s it going to go? Long? Why? And at the time we were already on top.”

Glebe deserved to be level at this point and Stone slipped the ball through to substitute Malik Ouani, who drilled his shot past the near post when he should have tested the goalkeeper.

Ogboe may have scored a stunning goal but that’s all he contributed.  O’Boyle was about to bring on winger Dajon Golding and take off Ansah, but Ogboe walked over to the touchline to withdraw his services after complaining through cramp.

The basic truth was Phoenix Sports carried too many passengers tonight.

Phoenix Sports’ fourth corner of the night was swung in by Probets with his left-foot from the right but the angle was always going to be too tight for Barham at the near post to steer his header on target.

The on-loan Miller, who was watched by his manager at Greenwich Borough, Gary Alexander, looked like the man who was going to carve up a bit of magic down the right wing in what was a poor game.

Phoenix Sports should have grabbed victory with 10 minutes of normal time remaining, when they finally played like a higher league team, at pace and with tempo.

Substitute winger Dajon Golding started the move which saw Hopkins and Lee link up in a triangle and Golding whipped in a cross from the right which was cleared out to sub Zak Bryon, who rifled his drive over the crossbar.

Glebe deserved to win the game inside the final 10 minutes of normal time.

Ouani played the ball out wide to Bryan Zepo, the substitute cut inside and his ball into the box was cleared out to Stone, who drilled his low right-footed angled drive towards the bottom corner from 25-yards, which forced Phillips to get down swiftly to his left to tip the ball just around the foot of his near post.

“Yes, it was end-to-end but I still think we had the better opportunities. We kept them at bay with our players. I thought we were on top and looked like we were the team to go through,” said Young.

“We were pushing, it was coming, a save from the keeper. Adrian’s dangerous around the box. We got it, worked it to him, great shot, great save.”

Glebe then squandered a glorious chance to claim the victory with less than four minutes remaining.

Miller swung in his side’s sixth corner of the game from the left out towards the far post where Tolulope Jonah came up from the back to plant his header agonisingly against the underside of the crossbar and Springett couldn’t turn the rebound in.

Young said: “That’s minimal measures.  Tolulope has been superb since he’s come with us. If that goes in, we’ll deserved. Unfortunately, it’s hit the crossbar but Steve Springett’s there to tap it in and unfortunately he’s scuffed it and it’s cleared off the line and you know these things happen.”

O’Boyle admitted: “What’s going through my mind at 1-1?  We’re not playing well whatever, we need a little spark going to come from, we didn’t get it all night.”

Both sides could have snatched a last-gasp win.

A poor clearance from Nash went straight to Hopkins inside Glebe’s half and he played the ball out to Golding on the right and he whipped in a cross and with his back to goal Sawyer’s overhead kick from 12-yards went straight at Nash, who caught the ball comfortably.

Young added: “They broke very quick and caught us a little bit cold.  He’s put himself in a good position and fortunately for us it’s gone straight down Nashy’s throat.”

“They’re very good pacy players who can run with the ball but I thought we defended well. They didn’t get behind us. Alright, they may have pushed us back but fortunately for us, we defended well and stopped them from doing that.”

O’Boyle added: “He was quiet, Saturday as well.  I think he’s injured himself doing that as well so I think he’s got a lovely hopefully played all the way through extra-time with a hamstring.

“To be honest, in the final third today, we were poor.  We were poor.  Their goalkeeper hasn’t had much to do and we’re an admin above and they’re defence, don’t want to work at all R or there GK reaction, so that’s final third.”

Phillips – the busier of the two goalkeepers – kept his side in The FA Cup when he palmed the ball away at his near post after Ouani drilled his shot towards the near corner.

Both were then asked their thoughts going into extra-time.

O’Boyle said: “I’ve got to stay positive and encourage them to basically, improve.  Get on board with try and parries it and try and get it wide.  I wanted our boys to come up with a big of magic but that’s what we needed. It wasn’t to be was it.”

“We knew we could still get chances,” highlighted Young. “We said we were pushing, pushing, pushing.

“We can win it!  I said, look at them!  They’re down, they’re beat.  We’re in this to win it. We started hard and fast in the second half. We’ve been impressive all night. My players have gone through the mill for me.  We’ve had players that haven’t played for a while, my hat goes off to them for their desire tonight.”

O’Boyle added: “I think we could’ve nicked one.  I don’t think we deserved to nick one and went to penalties and it’s a lottery isn’t it?”

Glebe had the first chance inside the first period of extra-time when Ouani played the ball out to Miller on the right and his dipping cross-shot was palmed away by Phillips and Ouani’s rebound saw Lee throw his body in the way to make a vital block on the edge of his six-yard box at the near post.

“As a manager, you’re watching, thinking is it going to be our night?” came the Glebe’s manager’s feelings.

“I still had the belief that the players will now push on and try to nick a win.”

Phoenix Sports’ central midfielder Hopkins unleashed a right-footed drive from 30-yards, which flew into Nash’s gloves for a routine catch.

Phoenix striker Sawyer went close when his right-footed angled low drive from the right was palmed away by Nash, to his right, the ball rolling back towards goal and kissing the foot of the far post before being cleared towards safety.

Hopkins drove forward through the heart of the pitch before playing the ball on the outside to Sawyer, who hooked his shot into Nash’s hands at the near post.

Hopkins missed a glorious chance to win it for Phoenix after only 147 seconds into the second period.

Zak Bryon lofted the ball into the Glebe penalty area close to the penalty spot and the unmarked Hopkins glanced his header just past the right-hand post.

O’Boyle shouted out that he wanted his side to keep driving on for the second period of extra-time, but their quality was non-existent tonight and the better side were eliminated.

Glebe created yet another chance inside the final three minutes of extra-time but Zepo guided his header straight at Phillips after meeting another corner from the left from Miller.

Young said: “It just comes down to Bryan, a good talented player.  He came on and got on at the full-back, but again for us we still showed belief and they didn’t and we kept going and to be fair they were hanging on towards the end.”

At 17 minutes past 10, referee Isaac Seale blew a halt to proceedings and neither side could find a winner after 210 minutes of football so onto penalties.

Phoenix Sports went up first. A short run-up from Probets and the former Rochdale left-back found the bottom right-hand corner with his left-foot.

Stone levelled for Glebe, sending Phillips the wrong way with a spot-kick that found the top left-hand corner.

Danny Young, a central defender, kept his composure by tucking home his right-footed penalty.

Miller ignored verbal taunts “school in the morning,” from the home fans and answered their taunts by hitting his right-footed spot=-kick into the bottom right-hand corner.

Golding became the first player to miss as the Phoenix substitute winger saw his right-footed effort parried by Nash, diving to his right.

Glebe captain Springett looked on as his left-footed penalty was saved by Phillips, diving to his right, the ball spinning back and across goal and past the opposite post.

Phoenix Sports went 3-2 up after the seventh penalty, Lee tucking his left-footed penalty into the bottom-left corner with the keeper almost rooted to the spot.

Zepo levelled it up when he drove his right-footed penalty straight down the middle.

Phoenix striker Barham slotted home his right-footed penalty into the bottom left-hand corner, sending Nash the wrong way.

Ouani held his nerve to take it into sudden-death, rifling his left-footed penalty into the top right-hand corner, only just though.

With the score level at 4-4 after 10 spot-kicks, we were now down to the players who had bottled it when their manager asked his players who wanted to take one?

Dartford manager Tony Burman was in the crowd and he saw one of his former players, Seixas hold his nerve, sending the keeper the wrong way with a right-footed penalty which nestled nicely into the bottom right-hand corner.

Phoenix fans chanted “we want Jason!” from behind the goal and this was a signal for Goodchild to step up to the plate.  He failed, rifling his right-footed penalty against the crossbar as he aimed foolishly for the top right-hand corner.

“Listen, it’s a lottery,” said Young.

“I said to my players before, I respect anyone who takes it, I back you 100%.  I said pick your place and take your shot. It is a lottery. It’s a cruel way to finish but that’s football, so we pick ourselves up and go again.

“Jason Goodchild has been superb for us since he’s come in. He’s a great player, talented, wants to win, he drives the boys on.  Unfortunately for him, he’s hit the bar.  I can’t knock him for that and I respect him massively, he was superb tonight.”

Glebe have beaten Lordswood (1-0); Deal Town (3-0 after a 2-2 draw); Banstead Athletic (4-0) and two games with Phoenix Sports during their six-match FA Cup campaign, earning them £6,425 in prize money, while Phoenix Sports have banked £9,425.

Young said: “Listen, we can take a lot out of it. We’ve done very well. We’ve gone the furthest the club’s ever been in its career so for me I’m immensely proud of my players.  To take a Bostik South side and push them all of the way, not a lot of teams you can say that so I’m very, very proud of my players.”

O’Boyle added: “Penalties are penalties.  To be honest with you, Jason Goodchild, I think he played well in the two games, he’s a very good player. First year in the Ryman he was my player-of-the-year and I think he’s stood out in these two games, good player, but unfortunately he’s missed the penalty.”

Looking ahead to their FA Cup trip to Enfield Town on 30 September, O’Boyle said: “The club needs (the prize money), 100% needs it, that’s why I’m probably on edge a little bit. This club isn’t a wealthy football club and trust me we need the money.”

O’Boyle takes his side to Carshalton Athletic in the Bostik South on Saturday.

“We want a positive response.  We’ve actually won the game tonight on penalties.  In my eyes we drew with a team in the division below.

“I can’t get excited by that. That (game) didn’t excite me. Last week at South Park we were 2-0 down, got it back to 2-2. A proper game of football, two teams going at it.  They’ve got me excited tonight. What didn’t get me excited.

“Where the players’ complacent? Don’t know.  I can’t read players’ minds.  That don’t get me excited. That tonight is as poor as it gets and they’ve been told that.

“We need to improve massively. We’ve got Carshalton on Saturday.  Let’s get through Carshalton.  If we play like that, it will be a cricket score against Carshalton on Saturday. We’ll worry about Carshalton first and it will be a cricket score if we play like that.”

Phoenix Sports: Steve Phillips, Conrad Lee, Ashley Probets, Stefan Wright (Zak Bryon 77), Danny Young, Tony Robinson, Onoriode Ogboe (Dajon Golding 62), Jack Hopkins, Jack Barham, Frankie Sawyer, Kweku Ansah (Richard Seixas 68).
Subs: James Fitchett, Terry Murray, Lewis Mingle, James Boughtflower

Goal: Onoriode Ogboe 45

Booked: Onoriode Ogboe 60

Glebe: Dean Nash, Jeff Allen, Steve Springett, Joe Minter (Jamie Wood 85), Joe Tennant, Tolulope Jonah, Fred Obasa (Bryan Zepo 74), Jason Goodchild, Adrian Stone, Harry Harding (Malik Ouani 46), Luke Miller.
Subs: James Sutherland, Tom Hammond, Dan Gunner, Sean Heather

Goal: Luke Miller 56

Booked: Joe Minter 26

Attendance: 183
Referee: Mr Isaac Searle (Herne Bay)
Assistants: Mr Zoltan Konkoly (Maidstone) & Mr Wally James (Welling)

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